Guantanamo's Child: Omar Khadr documentary nominated for Emmy
'It's very rare for a Canadian to have their production in the running for an Emmy'
From war crime tribunals to marriage proposals, the story of Omar Khadr is an interesting one.
This week it took another small turn as the people behind Guantanamo's Child — a documentary made about the polarizing man — have been nominated for an Emmy Award.
The film examines Khadr's life from age 15 to the present day.
The Canadian was the youngest person ever to be tried for war crimes after he was accused of throwing a grenade that killed U.S. soldier Christopher Speer.
Khadr pleaded guilty to war crimes but said he only did that because he "was left with a hopeless choice."
Following the tribunals he spent a quarter of his life in Guantanamo Bay before a series of judicial rulings brought him to Edmonton, where he was granted bail and now lives.
The film was sprung from a book written by Michelle Shephard, an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star.
She co-directed the project with Patrick Reed.
Producer Peter Raymont said the group behind the film is excited to be nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award for long-form, outstanding coverage of a current news story.
"We read the news release on Thursday. [It's] very, very exciting, a great honour, and we're really delighted," said Raymont.
"We'll see if we're fortunate to go on to win, but being nominated is a huge honour and very rare. It's very rare for a Canadian to have their production in the running for an Emmy."
Raymont said Khadr is thrilled about the nomination.
"I called him right as soon as we found out about it and he's delighted and very excited," Raymond said.
"I think ongoing attention to his case and the injustice of Guantanamo Bay [is good.] There's still detainees there, it's disgraceful really that Guantanamo Bay remains open."
Raymont said he wanted to be involved when he read Shephard's book and was blown away by the story.
There's still detainees there, it's disgraceful really that Guantanamo Bay remains open.- Peter Raymont
"I thought, boy, whenever Omar gets released or if we could interview him while he was in prison, we could make a very powerful film."
After securing the rights to the book, Raymont said making the documentary was a "long struggle" as they could only interview Khadr when he was out on bail.
"So it's taken a long time."
Not the first time
This isn't Raymont's first trip to the Emmys.
At the 2007 awards, his documentary Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire took home the award for best documentary.
This year his film is competing against three Frontline documentaries and one by HBO Documentary Films.
The 37th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards will take place Sept. 21 in New York.
While Raymont said that being selected as a nominee alongside Shephard and Reed is a honour, he's mainly happy he was able to help shine the light on Khadr and the people around him.
"We're very, very honoured that they chose us to tell the story."
Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows is a White Pine Pictures production in association with the CBC, and aired on CBC Firsthand.
You can watch the documentary online here.
With files from CBC's Andrea Ross